This guide will help you understand the basics of bruxism. Once you are educated on this topic, you will have a better grasp of what you can do to stop it from further affecting your family. It’s important for you to realize you are not alone and teeth grinding impacts many people! Even though it can be frustrating, there are plenty of things you can do to improve the situation in your home.
Why It Causes So Many Problems
The main problem with teeth grinding is that it occurs while a person is asleep. This means he or she has no control over how hard his or her jaw is moving. Wayne State University researchers estimate that bruxism sufferers’ jaws exert three to ten times more force than everyday chewing while they grind and clench.
Teeth Grinding Red Flags
If you live alone, you may not even realize you do grind your teeth. However, there are some symptoms you will probably notice while you’re awake. Persistent dull headaches, sore jaw muscles all the way to your ears, and cracked or receding teeth can all indicate that you grind and clench your teeth at night. If you’ve been chalking these up to another issue, it might be time to start considering bruxism instead.
Things That Cause This Problem
There are a number of underlying issues that can cause teeth grinding. Some medical conditions can lead to it. If your bite is misaligned, for instance, you may be more prone to bruxism. Acid reflux sufferers, Parkinson’s disease patients, and sleep apnea victims also tend to grind their teeth more often than people who don’t have these disorders.
In most cases, though, nighttime teeth clenching is caused by simple stress and anxiety. Some doctors recommend cutting down on caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol use, as they can make bruxism even worse. If you know you’re a teeth grinder, you should also do as much as you can to relax before bed. Aromatherapy, yoga, and reading a good book are all excellent options.
What Can Be Done About It
Although it is tough to stop bruxism completely, your dentist may have suggestions (or even devices) to help you quit. We take pride in helping our patients overcome this issue and in treating any damage that has already been done to their teeth.
Whether you just have suspicions that you’re grinding your teeth or you know your enamel and dentin are already compromised from decades of clenching, we can help you. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.